CNS or CNL

  1. I have finally narrowed my MSN down to the CNS or the CNL. I understand the basics. I understand that the CNS is APRN and the CNL is not. It does not matter to me if my masters degree makes me an APRN because I have no plans of working with patients in my CNS/CNL role. I like the options both of these roles open up. Nurse education, leadership, performance improvement, evidence-based practice, patient advocate, coordinator. All of these interest me and allow me indirect patient care.
    I hear the CNS is fading and the CNL is the newer version of it. But then I read a CNL is a glorified BSN, I hear CNL's can work as CNS's. If the big difference between them is APRN vs not, how can a CNL work as a CNS? In my facility, we do not have CNL's. We do have CNS's, but I am seeing that the role is dependent on facility, area of the country, etc.
    When I look for CNL and CNS jobs both in my area and nationally, I see there are more CNS jobs. I cannot determine whether there is a pay difference between them...
    Any insight from CNLs and CNSs would be appreciated!
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    About PICCRN79

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 20; Likes: 11

    2 Comments

  3. by   cmonlaf
    I would do CNS. It is much more widely known. I went through a CNL program and many of the graduates didn't even get certified and worked as bedside RNs initially. Others went on to become CRNAs or NPs. A handful do work as CNLs but not many. There weren't many, if any, jobs when I looked, so I didn't get certified. I graduated in 2012 so there may be more now.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    CNL is not well-known or recognized in MANY parts of the country. CNS is.

    In my experience, CNL is poorly-defined, and few employers are willing to put someone into that precise role. So, every CNL I know (small 'n' but first-hand knowledge) is working as a bedside RN and wishes they had done a different MSN.

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